Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning to discuss the state of the Celtics, who are coming off Sunday's blowout loss to the Pistons that dropped them to 6-5.
"Too early to tell. I do like where we're going, we're trending, we're getting better in a lot of areas," Rivers said. "Also understand we just came off the toughest stretch that we're going to have this season, as far as seven games in 10 days, four games in five. We don't have another stretch like that this year. So, when you watch, let's say the Detroit game, you're trying to evaluate more on conditioning and fatigue, just so many other factors, instead of just watching your team play basketball."
Rajon Rondo has a streak of 34 consecutive games with double-digit assists, but there was some controversy about his most recent 10-assist game. Rivers acknowledged keeping Rondo in against the Pistons until he got his 10th assist even though the game was out of reach.
"It doesn't matter that much to me, honestly," Rivers said. "I can tell you I honestly didn't know about it until maybe a week ago, because I don't read much stuff. Then I heard the chatter before games, the reporters were asking about it, so then you know about it. I think it does matter to him, there's no doubt about that. I just don't want it to matter to him more than just playing his game. And I think for the most part he's done that.
"The other night I'm sitting there thinking we're going to lose the game with five minutes left, you could clearly see that. And that's the first time that I turned around and asked someone, 'Hey, how many assists does Rondo have?' He had eight, and I decided to leave him in and see if he can get two more."
Asked if he thought about how it might cheapen the accomplishment to have Rondo get his last two assists in garbage time, Rivers said: "Yeah, but in that case it's not like everyone stopped playing. The other team absolutely didn't stop playing. I just left him on the floor. If that had been a close game he'd have been on the floor. So, I didn't think it was that big of a deal."
Darko Milicic, signed in the offseason to provide depth in the frontcourt, reportedly has been considering returning to his native Serbia to be with his ailing mother. Milicic, a bust as the second overall pick in the 2003 draft, has appeared in just one game for the Celtics.
"It's up to him right now," Rivers said. "He has some family issues, more his mom. Not playing, and being in another country, and the NBA hasn't gone exactly great for him over his career. So, it's a lot of reasons for him to want to leave. And I understand that, and I told him that. So, I pretty much left it up to him. He has my blessing either way."
The Celtics have two 2012 draft picks playing with the D-League's Maine Red Claws, but Rivers said that if Milicic departs, it doesn't necessarily mean one of the rookies will get a call-up.
"I don't think we're in any rush to do that," Rivers said. "If we see somebody out there that we think can help us if Darko leaves, then yes. If not, patience usually helps in our league. Especially after the All-Star break, guys get released, other guys become available. I think we'll be patient."
The guys have even more reaction to Deflategate and if this is actually a showdown between Bill and Roger.
Tom E. Curran calls the boys during his layover in Denver and gets right into the Deflategate craziness. Tom talks about his knowledge of the situation including his thoughts on if the NFL was indeed trying to set up and catch the Pats in the act. He gets into the relationship between Belichick and the league office, Belichick and Kraft and the actual game on Super Bowl Sunday.
Greg and Steve discuss the Deflategate debacle with callers and give their theories as to what went down in Foxboro last week against the Colts. Both guys think that Pats may be guilty of doing something to the balls, but that so do most other teams. Will Belichick and Brady be punished? Not if the NFL doesn't have proof, which it's looking more and more like they don't.
Ben and Sam discuss ways to improve the NBA All-Star weekend, hand out of hardware, and give their Finals predictions
Jackie MacMullen, ESPN Boston, talks with MFB about Rondo being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, and how this will have an effect on the Celtics rebuild process
How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...
The Red Sox have taken over Foxwoods and Red Sox Manager John Farrell sat down with Mut and Bradford to talk about the roster and how the 2015 season is looking.
Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly and 3B Pablo Sandoval sat down with Mut and Bradford. Joe Kelly had a few interesting proclamations. First he said that 95% of pitchers use some sort of grip enhancer, and then he said he was going to win the Cy Young. Pablo leaned over and promised 10 HR's, explaining to Joe that the trick is to set the bar low.
Mut and Rob are in on the Hot Stove Show this week and they're taking calls and talking about the Red Sox pitching as we are 5 weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training.
Pierre McGuire talks about ways hockey players skirt the rules in the NHL and the development of Dougie Hamilton.
Pierre McGuire joins Lou, Christian and Tim to discuss the resurgent Bruins, the emergence of David Pastrnak, and former Boston College stand-out Johnny Gaudreau looking to trademark the name 'Johnny Hockey.'
We get our state of the B report from NESN's Jack Edwards, right in the midst of a 4 game winning streak and hot return for David Pastrnak.
Tim Hasselbeck joined the show to give his expertise on deflate gate.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys opened the show discussing who was lying yesterday.
The guys react to comments made by Former Carolina Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney
After Tom Brady answered questions for a half hour about Deflate-Gate, the guys discuss whether or not they believe him.
Adam Schefter, ESPN, talks everything Deflate Gate with Lou, Christian and Tim on Patriots Friday
We get the national perspective on Deflategate and the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl with the playmaker, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.
We discuss deflategate and move beyond it for some game talk with Tom E Curran of CSNNE
Michael, Jerry and Andy Hart of PFW continue the dialogue and try and find some sanity in this sea of madness.
A caller named Jumbo from California raises a question that hasn't been talked about too much, what happens if it's determined that the Patriots aren't found responsible for the deflation of the footballs?
Mut and Lenny continue talking and taking calls on deflategate, as well as hearing the sound from Kirk Minihane's appearance on the O'Reilly Factor.
Mut and Lenny are talking deflategate and what impact it could have on the Patriots organization.
Chris and comedian Mike Mulloy recap the final Raw before the Rumble and preview the Rumble itself.
Would you rather watch important games in the stadium or on TV? Also we discuss our worst experiences at stadiums.
Ben and Sam discuss ways to improve the NBA All-Star weekend, hand out some hardware, and give their Finals predictions.
We get the national perspective on Deflategate and the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl with the playmaker, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.More from this show
We discuss deflategate and move beyond it for some game talk with Tom E Curran of CSNNEMore from this show
Tim Hasselbeck joined the show to give his expertise on deflate gate.More from this show
Television show writer of Showtime's "Shameless" and Boston native, Mike O’Malley unexpectedly calls Danny from California to react to Belichick’s press conference.More from this show